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United Nations E-Government Survey 2012


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“The increasing role of e-government in promoting inclusive and participatory development has gone hand-in-hand with the growing demands for transparency and accountability in all regions of the world,” said Sha Zukang, UN DESA Under-Secretary-General in the newly released United Nations E-government Survey 2012.

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United Nations E-Government Survey 2012

  1. 1. United NationsE-Government Survey 2012E-Government for the People
  2. 2. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 ST/ESA/PAS/SER.E/150 Department of Economic and Social Affairs United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 E-Government for the People United Nations New York, 2012 i
  3. 3. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012United Nations Departmentof Economic and Social AffairsThe United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs is a vital interface betweenglobal policies in the economic, social and environmental spheres and national action. TheDepartment works in three main interlinked areas: (1) it compiles, generates and analyses awide range of economic, social and environmental data and information on which MemberStates of the United Nations draw to review common problems and to take stock of policyoptions; (2) it facilitates the negotiations of Member States in many intergovernmentalbodies on joint courses of action to address ongoing or emerging global challenges; and (3)it advises interested governments on the ways and means of translating policy frameworksdeveloped in United Nations conferences and summits into programmes at the countrylevel and, through technical assistance, helps build national capacities. –DisclaimersThe designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publica-tion do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of theSecretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, terri-tory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiersor boundaries. The term ‘country’ as used in the text of this publication also refers,as appropriate, to territories and areas.Since there is no established convention for the designation of ‘developed’ and‘developing’ countries or areas in the United Nations system, this distinction ismade for the purposes of statistical and analytical purposes only and does notnecessarily express a judgment about the stage reached by a particular countryor region in the development process.Mention of the name of any company, organization, product or website does notimply endorsement on the part of the United Nations.Copyright © United Nations, 2012All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored inretrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic,mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission.ST/ESA/PAD/SER.E/150ISBN: 978-92-1-123190-8e-ISBN: 978-92-1-055353-7Sales no E.12.II.H.2Printed at the United Nations, New Yorkii
  4. 4. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Foreward Foreword Today, powerful new technologies can be used to advance sustainable development for all people across the world while including them in the process. In particular, e-government can be an engine of development for the people. In delivering e-government for the people, public services are designed to be responsive, citizen- centric and socially inclusive. Governments also engage citizens through participatory service delivery processes. The evidence base for the latter is strengthened by recent progress in e-government in a growing number of countries where citizens are both users and co-producers of public services. The increasing role of e-government in promot- and other innovations of this sort must be nurtured ing inclusive and participatory development has and supported and made available to all segments gone hand-in-hand with the growing demands for of society. transparency and accountability in all regions of the The steady diff usion of information and com- world. E-government has strongly shifted expecta- munication technologies and the bridging of the tions of what governments can and should do, using digital divide can help empower all stakeholders to modern information and communication technolo- translate commitments into action. I therefore en- gies, to strengthen public service and advance equi- courage policymakers and public administrators ev- table, people-centred development. erywhere to apply information and communication This report shows that with the right institu- technologies and e-government as important tools tional framework, policies and capacity-building in advancing sustainable development for all. – efforts, progress in enhancing the contributions of e-government to sustainable development is within reach. However, the report also explains that adequate funding is needed to enhance e-government. Furthermore, it shows that there are challenges to Sha Zukang reducing the digital-divide and increasing access to Under-Secretary-General for Economic public services by vulnerable populations and dis- and Social Affairs and Secretary-General tant communities. More than ever, mobile services, of the United Nations Conference crowd sourcing, cloud computing, e-service kiosks on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) iii
  5. 5. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Acknowledgements Acknowledgements The 2012 edition of the United Nations e-Government Survey is the result of the efforts, contributions and support of many people from a number of organizations and thanks are extended to all who were involved directly or indirectly. In particular, the following people are acknowledged for their specific roles in its production. Preparation of the publication was undertaken Nicola Amoroso provided advice on the refi nement by a group of senior e-government researchers of the statistical methodology. and advisers at the United Nations Department Under a collaborative agreement between of Economic and Social Affairs, led directly by the United Nations and Cornell University in the Haiyan Qian, Director of the Division for Public United States, the collection of data on online Administration and Development Management. services was overseen by Vincenzo Aquaro and She was assisted in this task by Vincenzo Aquaro, Seema Hafeez, supported by Kim Andreasson, Chief of the E-Government Branch, who man- Keping Yao, and Thomas O’Toole of the Cornell aged the data collection effort, and John-Mary Institute of Public Affairs (CIPA). The CIPA team Kauzya, Chief of the Public Administration included: Samar Alam, Timur Baiserkeev, Hatice Capacity Branch, who helped guide the analyti- Bilici, Santiago Calderon, Viktor Englund, Hadi cal work. Fathallah, Nira Gautam, Adalsteinn Hakonarson, The core research team comprised DPADM Aleks Janjic, Sonia Javed, Rami Jawhar, Resya staff members Seema Hafeez who drafted Chapters Kania, Juliana Lima, Haiyue Luo, Margaret Lynch, 1 and 2, Michael Mimicopoulos and John-Mary Andreea Mascan, Grit Mathias, Ammar Naqvi, Kauzya who drafted Chapter 3, Deniz Susar Michail Panagopoulos, Weng Pong Woo, Vorapat who drafted Chapter 4, Peride Blind who drafted Praneeprachachon, Diego Rios Zertuche, Javad Chapter 5, and Seok-Ran Kim who drafted Chapter Rostami, Frantz Seide, Sarmad Shaikh, Aditya 6. Patrick Spearing contributed a background Shrinivas, Chamnan Sieng, Th itsar Th itsar, Ardak paper on information services in support of sus- Tukenova, Marc Uf berg, Kim Vallejo, Martina tainable development. Richard Kerby and Jonas Vanikova, Ana Vanjac and Yucheng Zheng. Rabinovitch provided case studies and field data. Comprehensive second stage data assessment Elida Reci conducted research related to the digital was conducted a group of United Nations interns divide and vulnerable groups. Patrick Spearing and coordinated by Seema Hafeez. The team included Wai Min Kwok acted as referees in reviews of the Alisher Djaborov, Aaron Gardner, Kateryna various manuscripts. Goychuk, Monica Hernandez, Sonia Javed, Rami The survey benefited from advice and guid- Jawhar, Loreta Juskaite, DuyiLi, Sine Soeberg, ance on e-government measurement provided Desislava Stefanova, AlexanderThomson, Quentin by a group of experts who met in New York in Tourancheau and Yucheng Zheng, in addition to December 2010. The group consisted of Abdulla a number of volunteer translators which included Al Hamid (Bahrain), Kim Andreasson (United Eran Goldshtein, Davaadorj Khulan, Tünde States), Roberto Bellott i (Italy), Rowena Bethel Lázár, Suela Lleku, Michaela Mackuliakova, Inge (Bahamas), David Eaves (Canada), Tanya Gupta Meesak, Stephan Nunner, Srinart Poputtachai, (World Bank), Morten Goodwin Olsen (Norway), Vorapat Praneeprachachon, Alfred Prevoo, Nadja Koon Tian Ooh (Singapore), Jeremy Millard Saveska, Artemis Seaford, Yaroslav Shiryaev, (Denmark), Rajkumar Prasad (India), Abir Qasam Gracia Sidabutar, Tomohiro Tsuden, Aura Ursu, (United States) Mikael Snaprud (Norway) and Vilde Vaeroyvik, Eva van Aalst, Stine Wind and Barbara Ubaldi (OECD). Roberto Bellott i and Benjamin Ziga. v
  6. 6. Acknowledgements United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Technical data management and support was International Telecommunication Union and the provided by Aaron Gardner, Rami Jawhar and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Quentin Tourancheau. Kim Andreasson provided Organization respectively. the data assessment platform and support to the Administrative assistance was provided by initial collection of data on online services. Data Rosanne Clarke, Wally Clarkson, Elvira Doyle, Nathan assessment on access to vulnerable groups was Henninger, Madeleine Losch, and Luis Prugue. conducted by Christian Rodli Amble, Morten Editorial review and coordination was under- Goodwin and Mikael H. Snaprud and peer review taken by Michelle Alves de Lima-Miller, supported by the University of the United Nations through by Silvia Schwarz. Tomasz Janoxski. Copyediting services were provided by Mary Telecommunication infrastructure and edu- Lynn Hanley. Creative design was directed and ex- cation data were generously contributed by the ecuted by Eliot Sela.–vi
  7. 7. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Acronymes Acronyms C2G Citizen-to-government ITU International Telecommunication Union CIO Chief information officer LDC Least developed country EGDI E-government development index MEA Multilateral environmental agreement EU European Union NGO Non-governmental organization FAQ Frequently asked questions OECD Organization for Economic FOI Freedom of information Cooperation and Development G2C Government-to-citizen OSI Online service index G2G Government-to-government PDA Personal digital assistant GDP Gross domestic product PPP Public-private partnership GII Government information RSS Real simple syndication infrastructure SMS Short message service GNI Gross national income UNDESA United Nations Department HCI Human capital index of Economic and Social Affairs HDI Human Development Index WAI Web accessibility initiative HTML Hypertext markup language WAP Wireless application protocol ICT Information and WCAG Web content accessibility guidelines communication technology W3C World Wide Web Consortium IM Instant messaging WSSD World Summit on ISP Internet service providers Sustainable Development vii
  8. 8. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Contents Contents Foreword iii Chapter 4: Supporting multichannel Acknowledgements v service delivery 73 Acronyms vii 4.1 Global and regional trends 74 4.2 Challenges and opportunities of multichannel service delivery 79 Executive summary 1 4.3 Conclusion and recommendations 83 Chapter 1: World e-government rankings 9 Chapter 5: Bridging the digital divide by reaching 1.1 Overview of national out to vulnerable populations 87 e-government development 10 5.1 Factors affecting e-government 1.2 Global leaders at a glance 10 access and use 88 1.3 Regional comparisons 14 5.2 Conclusions and policy recommendations 97 1.4 Least developed countries 34 1.5 Post-conflict countries 35 Chapter 6: 1.6 Conclusion 35 Expanding usage to realize the full benefits of e-government 101 6.1 E-service usage: The current landscape 102 Chapter 2: 6.2 Challenges, recent efforts and opportunities 103 Progress in online service delivery 37 6.3 Increasing e-service usage: 2.1 Online service rankings 38 Policy conclusions 112 2.2 Trends in e-service provision 39 2.3 Conclusion 53 Annexes: 117 Survey methodology 119 Chapter 3: Data tables 118 Taking a whole-of-government approach 55 Notes 126 3.1 E-government harmonization in practice 56 References 136 3.2 Challenges and opportunities of integrated e-service delivery 63 Regional groupings 143 3.3 Conclusions 69 ix
  9. 9. Contents United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Boxes Boxes (cont.) 1.1 Seychelles leads in Eastern Africa 16 3.3 Germany chooses integrated services on multiple portlets 62 1.2 Tunisia national portal 17 3.4 Malaysia “no wrong door” policy 62 1.3 Mexico’s alternative approach 21 3.5 Cloud computing 68 1.4 Brazil: Expanding services 22 4.1 Malta MyAlerts: Notifications through 1.5 Integrated services in Kazakhstan 24 multiple delivery channels 77 1.6 World leader in e-government 4.2 Turkey: UYAP SMS information system 78 development 2012: Republic of Korea 24 4.3 Italy: Reti Amiche for multichannel 1.7 China: Enhancing transparency public service delivery 78 and openness 25 4.4 ServiceOntario of Canada 80 1.8 India looks to sustainable development by including all 25 5.1 Selected examples of e-government initiatives of education to bridge the 1.9 Pakistan in the forefront of e-passport 26 digital divide 91 1.10 Singapore in the vanguard of countries 26 5.2 Automated search for barriers to usage 93 1.11 Israel consolidates e-services 27 5.3 Selected examples of initiatives in support of access/use 97 1.12 Saudi Arabia offers innovative e-services 27 6.1 Benefit of e-tax payment: Convenience 1.13 Qatar’s Hukoomi: Working and ease of paying taxes 104 towards integration 28 6.2 311 Service: Trust, transparency and service 1.14 EU leads the way to innovative application request map of New York City 105 of ICT to sustainable development 30 6.3 United States: Fostering social inclusion 1.15 Denmark: Providing multiple choices 31 and increasing e-service usage through 2.1 Bahrain, a leader in Western Asia 38 social media 108 2.2 Russian Federation: Investments for 7.1 The four stages of online service delivery improvements 39 service development 123 2.3 Kazakhstan: A leader in e-participation 43 Figures 2.4 Colombia: E-participation 46 1.1 Emerging leaders in 2.5 Australia: E-participation 47 e-government development 12 2.6 Providing outcome on feedback received 1.2 India advancing in from citizens concerning the improvement e-government development 13 of their service 48 1.3 Impressive gains by China 13 2.7 Trinidad and Tobago: Wealth of information on environment 51 1.4 Regional averages in e-government development 14 2.8 Brazil: Special section on Rio +20 52 1.5 Advances in regional e-government 3.1 leads in integrated portals 60 development in the last decade 14 3.2 Mauritius, an A to Z thematic approach 61 1.6 Trends in e-government development in Africa 2008-2012 15x
  10. 10. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 ContentsFigures (cont.) Figures (cont.)1.7 Limitations of infrastructure impeding 2.17 Online leadership promotion and e-government in Africa 18 accountability in environmental sustainability 511.8 Regional e-government in the Americas 19 2.18 Countries offering education or information on public policy concerns 511.9 E-government in Northern America 21 2.19 Reflection of public concerns on national1.10 Regional e-government in Asia 22 environmental websites 521.11 E-government in Norway and the 2.20 Citizen participation in environmental United Arab Emirates 23 affairs by region 531.12 Regional e-government in Europe 29 3.1 Countries with CIO or equivalent overseeing e-government 561.13 Regional e-government development: Oceania and the world 33 3.2 Countries offering a one-stop-shop 582.1 Progress in online service provision 3.3 Countries with government websites 2003-2012 in selected countries 38 linking to a national website or portal 592.2 E-services in Latvia and Belarus 39 3.4 Percentage of national sites or portals linking to government ministries 592.3 United Nations Member States’ online presence, 2003 – 2012 40 3.5 Policy information online 592.4 Online features availability 40 3.6 Institutional integration efforts in environment 602.5 Sectoral user services online 41 4.1 Overview of channels for public2.6 Extent of e-service delivery 41 service delivery 752.7 Geographic distribution of top performers 4.2 Breakdown of channels by region 75 in e-participation 44 4.3 Breakdown of channels by income level 752.8 Depth of e-participation 45 4.4 Selected mobile-based channels for2.9 E-consultation tools used by governments 46 multiservice delivery 762.10 Overall environmental e-service provision 48 4.5 Breakdown of mobile-based channels2.11 Africa sub-regional average scores by region 76 as percentage of regional average score 49 4.6 Breakdown of mobile-based channels2.12 Americas sub-regional average scores by income level 77 as percentage of regional average score 49 4.7 Availability of payment transactions2.13 Asia sub-regional average scores as in different channels 79 percentage of regional average score 49 5.1 Inclusion of at least one of the vulnerable2.14 Europe sub-regional average scores groups on the national website 89 as percentage of regional average score 49 5.2 Multilingual national portals 902.15 Relationship between e-environment 5.3 Multilingual European portals 90 performance and gross national income per capita 50 5.4 Multilingual Asian portals 902.16 Use of e-government to raise 5.5 Assisted sites 92 awareness of sustainable development 50 5.6 Female economic activity 94 xi
  11. 11. Contents United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Figures (cont.) Tables (cont.) 5.7 Broadband (2012) and GDP per capita 1.9 Top ranked countries in the Americas 19 (2010 or the latest figure) 95 1.10 E-government development in the Caribbean 20 5.8 M-government and vulnerable groups 96 1.11 E-government development in Central America 20 5.9 Broadband, m-government, and vulnerable groups 96 1.12 E-government development in Northern America 21 6.1 E-government usage growth rate lagging behind e-government availability 1.13 E-government development in South America 21 growth rate (2005 – 2010) 103 1.14 E-government leaders in Asia 23 6.2 Transaction services: countries providing 1.15 E-government development in Central Asia 23 on-line payment facilities in different sectors 104 1.16 E-government development in Eastern Asia 25 6.3 Number of countries with privacy statement and security policy online 105 1.17 E-government development in Southern Asia 26 6.4 Governments’ efforts to garner 1.18 E-government development in and report on usage feedback 107 South-Eastern Asia 27 6.5 Relationship between broadband 1.19 E-government development in Western Asia 28 penetration and citizen uptake of e-government services (2008) 107 1.20 Top 10 in Europe 29 6.6 Government websites and social media 109 1.21 E-government development in Eastern Europe 30 6.7 Government websites providing a statement that promotes open 1.22 E-government development in government data initiative 110 Northern Europe 31 6.8 FOI laws in countries around the world: 1.23 E-government development in Global view 111 Southern Europe 32 6.9 Freedom of Information in different 1.24 E-government development in regions of the world 111 Western Europe 32 1.25 E-government development in Oceania 33 Tables 1.26 E-government development in least developed countries 34 1.1 World e-government development leaders 2012 11 1.27 E-government development in post-conflict countries 35 1.2 E-government development in largest population countries 13 2.1 Top 20 countries in online service delivery 38 1.3 Top ranked countries in Africa 15 2.2 Advanced features available on websites 40 1.4 E-government development in Eastern Africa 16 2.3 Transactional services online 41 1.5 E-government development in Middle Africa 17 2.4 Extent of service delivery in top performers, selected countries 42 1.6 E-government development in Northern Africa 17 2.5 E-services in selected developing countries 42 1.7 E-government development in Southern Africa 18 2.6 Top e-participation leaders 43 1.8 E-government development in Western Africa 18 2.7 Extent of e-participation 44xii
  12. 12. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 ContentsTables (cont.) Maps2.8 Extent of government’s commitment 1.1 Sub-regions of Africa 15 to e-participation 45 1.2 Sub-regions of the Americas 192.9 Collecting citizen feedback 46 1.3 Sub-regions of Asia 232.10 Web 2.0 tools used in e-decision making 47 1.4 Sub-regions of Europe 292.11 E-decision making features 48 1.5 Sub-regions of Oceania 332.12 Top countries on environment survey 48 7.1 Regional groupings 1432.13 Selected environmental online features and content 502.14 Environment-related online citizen feedback 533.1 Chief information officer or equivalent by region 573.2 Interoperability and back-office integration 583.3 Whole-of-government top performers 613.4 Selected organizational changes needed in the pursuit of a whole-of- government approach 643.5 National portals clearly indicating a security feature 684.1 List of countries utilizing all channels 745.1 Components and subcomponents of the conceptual map of digital divide 895.2 National websites with accessibility features 925.3 Access of females versus males to social media 946.1 List of countries with government websites providing a statement ‘follow us on Facebook or Twitter’ 1096.2 List of countries providing chat rooms or an IM feature 1097.1 E-participation index 1267.2 Online service index and its components 1287.3 Telecommunication infrastructure index and its components 1307.4 Human capital index and its components 1327.5 E-participation index 1347.6 Environment Index 135 xiii
  13. 13. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Executive summary Executive summary Progress in online service delivery continues in most countries around the world. The United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 fi nds that many have put in place e-government initiatives and information and communication technologies applications for the people to further enhance public sector efficiencies and streamline governance systems to support sustainable development. Among the e-government leaders, innovative technology solutions have gained special recognition as the means to revitalize lagging economic and social sectors. The overall conclusion that emerges from the 2012 Survey in today’s recessionary world climate is that while it is important to continue with service delivery, governments must increasingly begin to rethink in terms of e-government – and e-governance – placing greater emphasis on institutional linkages between and among the tiered government structures in a bid to create synergy for inclusive sustainable development. An important aspect of this approach is to widen the scope of e-government for a transformative role of the government towards cohesive, coordinated, and integrated processes and institutions through which such sustainable development takes place. 1
  14. 14. Executive summary United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 In the current recessionary world climate, in can be met with a concerted and coordinated effort which the lives of people have become ever more that incorporates the environmental dimension into interconnected, governments have been harness- development planning at every stage. ing the power of information and communications Within this context, national governments technologies (ICT) for delivering much needed sus- need to understand the economic, social and en- tainability in social and economic services to their vironmental pathways must be adapted to develop citizens. As part of this shift towards e-government, or reform their strategic frameworks towards out- there has been an increasing recognition that ef- comes that promote sustainable development. The forts towards a holistic approach to governance for basic strategic approach needs to germinate fi rst and sustainable development require strategic national foremost in the acceptance of the importance of the planning to ensure efficacy, transparency, respon- inter-linkages among the economic, social and envi- siveness, participation and inclusion in the delivery ronmental aspects of development. of public services. These aims could not be achieved The role of the government is once again without the underlying notion of sustainable devel- being redefined to reform the governance sys- opment for the people. tems through which services are delivered in a The overall challenge then is to deliver improve- way that maximizes development and minimizes ments in the standards of living in such a manner natural resource degradation. A holistic approach that development today does not compromise de- to governance includes taking into account the ef- velopment tomorrow. Embedded in the concept ficiency and distributional aspects of sectoral poli- of sustainability is the viability of (i) national and cies and their outcomes, national development sub-national governance systems that are citizen- agendas, and international cooperation agree- centric, socially inclusive and participatory; and ments, so that resulting solutions are sustainable (ii) the associated government operations and in the future. services that affect development outcomes. In The message of the 2012 Survey is that all stake- paying attention to citizen needs, there is a critical holders need to recognize the key role that e-gov- need for governments to encompass modalities in ernment – and e-governance – can play in support working together with citizens in fulfi lling service of the establishment of effective institutional link- delivery. Therefore the theme of the United Nations ages necessary for sustainable development. E-Government Survey 2012 is E-Government for Evidence shows that it is possible to successfully the People. Areas deserving special emphasis in- utilize ICT based on governance frameworks that un- clude expanding usage of e-government services, derpin the effectiveness of public sector institutions. including through multiple channels, and a whole- E-government is at the core of building a stra- of-government approach in promoting equity and tegic sustainable development framework. One of bridging the digital-divide by extending service de- its key functions has been to provide an integrated livery to all, particularly vulnerable groups. framework of policies, laws and regulations and de- velop institutions and processes that allow the pri- The nexus of e-government, vate sector to provide – and the people to partake institutional linkages and of – the benefits of newer technologies. sustainable development The underlying principle of e-government, sup- E-government has an important role to play, now and ported by an effective e-governance institutional in the future. As the world moves towards 2015, the framework, is to improve the internal workings of date set for reaching the Millennium Development the public sector by reducing fi nancial costs and Goals, the unmet targets of poverty reduction and transaction times so as to better integrate work flows other social and economic development goals are and processes and enable effective resource utiliza- being revisited within the ambit of climate change tion across the various public sector agencies aiming and natural resource conservation. Inherent in this for sustainable solutions. It seeks to establish ‘bet- paradigm is a focus on pivotal linkages among pub- ter processes and systems’ aimed at more efficiency, lic institutions, such that development challenges effectiveness, inclusion and sustainability. As a key2
  15. 15. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Executive summarydriver of efficiency and coordination, e-governance The entry point for economic sustainabilityencompasses institutions, mechanisms and pro- is how e-government supports efficiency and ef-cesses for planning, organizing, coordination and fectiveness in government for greater growth andimplementation of successful socio-economic de- development by employing whole-of-governmentvelopment programmes. approaches. Hierarchical and bureaucratic struc- Utilizing e-government can be the key to the tures need to be transformed into horizontalachievement of the integration of economic, social integrated systems, which facilitate customer ori-and environment goals for development planning. entation and increase levels of transparency andIn this context, national governments need to: accountability in a move towards public service de-• Recognize the opportunity for synergy among livery solutions that are sustainable. institutions that e-government offers; At the same time, social equity and inclusion• Re-engineer the enabling environment for are possible only if institutional barriers to citizen e-governance to enable institutional inter- link- inclusion are removed and opportunities for their ages within the government; and participation through ICTs are equitably distrib-• Promote coordination and connectivity be- uted. The reach of innovative inclusive solutions tween ecosystems and development outcomes. to support citizen decision-making processes is As the public sector continues to reform struc- just as important as the nature of the participa-tural processes and institutions for greater efficiency tory process itself. For social sustainability, theand better service delivery; provide a climate con- role of e-government requires a shift from that ofducive for businesses; and offer greater participation a controller of information and services to that offor citizens, e-government will increasingly become a facilitator, whereby information and services arethe key enabler of sustainable development. From geared towards addressing the needs and concernsputt ing in place policies and programmes to the de- of the citizenry, especially the vulnerable, and tosign of laws and regulation for ICT access and citi- promoting user uptake.zen participation, e-government and e-governance Finally, e-government can support environ-will expand their reach in affecting the living condi- mental institutional integration by bringing envi-tions of peoples in all countries of the world in gen- ronment agencies online and linking them witheral, and in ameliorating the adverse impact of the governance structures responsible for developmentdigital divide in particular. planning so that coordinated solutions can be found One of the key challenges in building the frame- that are efficient, effective and of sustainable development is how to employ The United Nations E-Government Surveymodern technologies to ensure inter-institutional 2012: E-Government for the People addresses thecoordination and the effectiveness of development conceptual and analytical issues related to how theoutcomes while safeguarding natural resource Member States are utilizing ICTs to support citizenconservation. Lessons of experience in a few of the centric service delivery and citizen participation invanguard countries indicate that by deploying inno- service delivery to ensure sustainable development.vative ITC solutions e-governance endeavours canoptimize solutions to hither-to-fore intransigent de- Global trends invelopment challenges. e-government development There is a growing recognition that e-gover- The United Nations E-Government Survey 2012nance can support development by improving explores the inter-linkages between e-governmentinter-organizational linkages and consolidation of and sustainable development efforts. While present-government systems. Th is emerging e-government ing the United Nations e-government developmentparadigm, allied to the twin objectives of efficacy in rankings for 2012 it analyses how governments ofgovernment functioning and achieving improve- the world are employing e-government policies andments in service delivery, is bringing about new programmes to support efficiency, effectiveness, andperceptions of the inter-linkages between e-govern- inclusiveness as the parameters of sustainable devel-ment and the sustainability of systems. opment efforts worldwide. 3
  16. 16. Executive summary United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 It addresses conceptual and analytical issues disparity in the use of information technologies. In related to an effective e-governance institutional this way it contributes to a better understanding of framework as the key enabler for the organizational the need for e-government to be deployed in order and regulatory environment that is the necessary to create the required synergy and integration across ingredient for such development to take place. institutions and processes that will support Member Building on lessons learnt and best practices iden- States’ efforts towards sustainable development that tified through previous UNDESA work on e-gov- includes all. ernment, the 2012 Survey highlights the ‘silo’ or sector-by-sector approach often common to both Key fi ndings from the 2012 Survey e-government and environment in development According to the 2012 United Nations planning. It brings together concepts and best E-government Survey rankings, the Republic of practices such as whole-of-government; effective- Korea is the world leader (0.9283) followed by ness of multichannel service delivery; increasing the Netherlands (0.9125), the United Kingdom access to Internet and mobile use around the world (0.8960) and Denmark (0.8889), with the United in bridging the digital divide; the importance of States, Canada, France, Norway, Singapore and e-service to vulnerable groups; and challenges in Sweden close behind. user uptake. It thereby alerts policy makers to the The steady improvement in all the indicators current need for a holistic vision to sustainable de- of the e-government development index has led to velopment that emphasizes synergies among vari- a world average of 0.4877 as compared to 0.4406 ous sectors and approaches that will help advance in 2010. Th is reflects that countries in general have economic sustainability and social equity. improved their online service delivery to cater to A special focus of this year’s Survey is on envi- citizens’ needs. On a regional level, Europe (0.7188) ronment-related services. It assesses the provision of and Eastern Asia (0.6344) lead, followed by environment and resource conservation information Northern America (0.8559), South Asia (0.3464) and services to the citizen and presents the fi rst data and Africa (0.2762). set on United Nations e-environment indicators. Despite progress, there remains an imbalance The message of the 2012 Survey builds upon the in the digital divide between developed and the fi ndings of the previous United Nations Surveys developing countries, especially in Africa. The lat- and sets the importance of e-government fi rmly ter region had a mean e-government development within the current global developmental debate. index of about 30 per cent of Northern America First, underscoring the importance of technologi- and about half of the world average. The digital di- cal advancements and the role of the government vide is rooted in the lack of e-infrastructure, which and sustainable development, it highlights the im- has hindered information-use and knowledge-cre- portance of e-government and ICT as integral to ation. The tremendous difference of broadband sustainable development. width and subscriptions between the developing Second, expanding the concept of e-governance and the developed world proves that there are yet it points to the need to place it at the centre of de- many milestones to be reached in order to close velopment thinking for a coherent, coordinated and the gap of the digital divide. synergistic approach to public sector solutions. Finally, it draws attention to state-of-the art e- Whole-of-government approaches government approaches that are being deployed in lead the way in vanguard countries vanguard countries as case studies for a whole-of- Employing e-government to improve efficiency government framework and inclusion of the disad- and effectiveness of public service delivery in vantaged in the circle of development. government structures is one facet of economic Thus, it presents the progress made in e-govern- sustainability. The 2012 Survey finds that many ment development around the world since the last Member States are moving from a decentral- Survey (2010) while cautioning against the digi- ized single-purpose organization model, to an tal divide that stems from the current worldwide integrated unified whole-of-government model4
  17. 17. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Executive summarycontributing to efficiency and effectiveness. The Much more needs to be done to include vul-model aims at centralizing the entry point of ser- nerable groups in the benefits of technology. Withvice delivery to a single portal where citizens can a focus on social sustainability, the underlying ap-access all government-supplied services, regardless proach of the top performers in 2012 is inclusion forof which government authority provides them. In all, which has led to the expansion of informationsome countries, the whole-of-government ap- and services to vulnerable groups, people who liveproach helps build a transparent government in isolated rural areas and the disabled. Further, insystem with interconnected departments and di- pursuit of greater efficiency, more and more govern-visions, feeding into the funnel of greater govern- ments are paying closer attention to citizens’ use ofment efficiency and effectiveness. online services. The levels still remain low with only around a quarter – or 47 countries – providing in-Member States are paying formation on how citizens use services.closer attention to multichannelservice delivery Developing countries make progressThe increasing power of ICT has also provided in e-participationgovernments with the f lexibility of providing Many developing countries have adopted citizenservices and information to citizens through inclusion as key in providing “customer”-orientedmultichannels. Citizens have diverse needs and services. While the Republic of Korea and thedemands for services; therefore it is no longer sus- Netherlands are the world leaders, Singapore andtainable for governments to utilize one preferred Kazakhstan are close behind. Europe has the largestway of service provision over the other. It is now share of the top e-participation countries. Despiteever more essential that governments exploit all progress the gains are not spread evenly, both acrosspossible delivery channels in order to reach out to and within countries, with the majority still offeringas many people as possible, no matter how poor, il- low levels of engagement possibilities.literate or isolated. The 2012 Survey shows that 71Member States partner with third party organiza- Citizens demand more servicestions such as those in the civil society or the private While the primary focus of Member States has beensector to provide e-services. the provision of services from a supplier perspective, Progress on the digital divide is far from satisfac- recently there has been a shift towards a more con-tory though rapid dispersion of mobile technology sumer demand driven policy and greater emphasisgives hope for improvement. on citizen usage. Nevertheless the level of citizen Th is year’s Survey also indicates that global in- up-take currently remains at low levels. Usage di-frastructure access has improved, with the global vides across and within countries is one of the manyaverage ICT index value reflecting an increase in challenges hindering high levels of citizen penetration – the global average number According to the 2012 Survey, only 24 countriesof mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants is now openly promote free access to e-government ser-88.5. Broadband penetration, however, remains very vices through free wifi or kiosks. Leveraging sociallow, with a global average of only 8.7 fi xed broad- media for the benefit of e-service uptake is anotherband connections per 100 inhabitants. Mobile- area where a greater effort can make a differencebased technologies have become the most rapidly since currently only 40 per cent of Member Statesadapted technologies to provide e-services, playing are using a social networking site.a pivotal role, especially in developing countries.Rural areas with very litt le access to telephony can A good beginning but e-environmentnow benefit from mobile and broadband services to initiatives have a long way to goaccess services. According to the 2012 Survey, 25 With the worldwide focus on sustainable develop-countries have developed separate m-government ment this year the 2012 United Nations e-Govern-websites, and 24 countries provide the option of ment Survey devoted a special section to examiningmaking payments via mobile phones. the effort made by Member States in provision of 5
  18. 18. Executive summary United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 environment-related online information and ser- The way forward vices. In keeping with institutional development As the way forward the fi rst imperative is to recog- identified as one of the two main themes for Rio nize the role of national governments in tapping +20, the 2012 Survey assessed Member States’ on- into the transformative nature of e-government for line offerings in three areas cited in the Secretary- sustainable development as it relates to whole-of- General’s Report to the Preparatory Committee government approaches and multichannel service for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable delivery. In this regard countries must at a minimum Development: 1) dissemination of information; 2) establish a persistent online presence with at least institutional integration with respect to environ- basic services in order to build trust in government. mental matters; and 3) opportunities for citizen Second, shifting from a structurally disinte- engagement on environmental issues. With respect grated government to one that is a more intercon- to information dissemination services, Chapter nected single-purpose whole-of-government will 2 looks particularly at four policy areas related to require collaboration and streamlining not only environmental degradation and natural resources along the whole spectrum of governance but also management: clean air, clean water, energy, and re- with private sector and civil societies. Prerequisites source conservation. Given the importance placed for achieving this shift include long-term vision on empowering citizens – particularly marginal- and leadership commitment, a strategic frame- ized groups – with respect to environmental policy work, an IT management programme aligned with making, it also assesses how e-participation tools the overall strategy, and technical integration of IT are deployed in the environmental domain, at the systems. Whole-of-government practices will not same time, focusing on the importance of institu- only boost efficiency of government agencies but tional integration at all levels for sustainable de- also utilization of public services if properly ad- velopment. Chapter 3 assesses how e-government ministered in accordance with a clear strategy and offerings support both sub-national and interna- motivated leadership. tional integration. Among the top-scoring coun- Th ird, it needs to be reiterated that the digital tries on the environment, four provide considerable divide is still an obstacle we face. With all the cut- environment related information and services to ting-edge technologies and development of social their citizens – Germany, the Republic of Korea, media and networking tools, which have re-shaped Singapore, and the United States. As in the case of parts of our modern world, it is becoming more e-government development rankings, developed challenging to diminish the digital divide. Not countries dominate the e-environment service only is the non-availability of infrastructure such delivery, with 36 per cent of countries providing as broadband the main reason behind this divide, less than one third of the information and services but differences in skills and lack of means to ac- assessed; another one third providing 34 to 66 per cess information also play a major role. Therefore cent; and 56 countries providing 67 to 100 per cent it is vital for governments to learn from global best of the e-environment services assessed. practices and collaborate internationally to develop A majority of countries provide online infor- a harmonized framework with indigenous ICT mation or education to citizens regarding clean content. An effective approach must address both water (111 countries), clean air (105 countries), access to infrastructure as well as well as barriers and resource conservation (104 countries). Nearly to using online services that may persist even when half of countries, 86, provide information pertain- such access is available. ing to energy. However few countries provide Fourth, there is a need to reach out to all citi- features designed to proactively notify citizens of zens, particularly the disadvantaged and vulnerable environmental issues or permit citizens to focus groups, in order to bridge the gap and maximize online searches specifically on the environment. the utilization of online service delivery. However, Similarly, citizen engagement on environment is- governance processes for the effectiveness and ben- sues is in its infancy. While Europe takes the lead, efit of all cannot be realized without a well-estab- other regions are slow to follow. lished coordination framework encompassing the6
  19. 19. United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 Executive summaryinvolvement of all national and international stake- have created opportunities for greater participationholders, including third party organizations, which and social inclusiveness. By bringing technologycan play a pivotal role in the process. Th is is par- to the people instead of making the people cometicularly important in the context of multichannel to technology hubs, and by creating opportuni-service delivery, where it is important to follow an ties for online service delivery, e-government hasevolutionary rather than a revolutionary approach contributed to coordinated efforts for increasedto developing new channels. In other words, service e-government among public sector officials, publicdelivery via new channels should not come at the institutions and citizens.expense of service delivery via established channels. As the collective global effort, led by the United Fift h, low usage and user uptake indicates that Nations, gains momentum towards a greater ac-e-services up-take has untapped potential for the ceptance of the institutional linkages among theimprovement of service delivery in line with citi- economic, social and environmental pillars of sus-zen demand. tainable development, there is a need to be cogni- Finally, the 2012 Survey assessment points zant of the importance of e-government that is forto horizontal and vertical e-government linkages the people, in achieving higher standards of livingamong various institutions and nodal points that for future generations. – 7
  20. 20. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1 Chapter 1 World e-government Eliot Sela rankingsChapter 1 Progress in online service delivery continues in most countriesWorld e-government rankings around the world. The United Nations E-Government Survey1.1 Overview of national e-government development 10 2012 fi nds that many have put in place e-government initiatives1.2 Global leaders at a glance 10 and information and communication technologies applications 1.2.1 Countries with a large population 12 for the people to further enhance public sector efficiencies1.3 Regional comparisons 14 and streamline governance systems to support sustainable 1.3.1 E-government in Africa 15 development. Among the e-government leaders, innovative 1.3.2 E-government in the Americas 19 technology solutions have gained special recognition as the 1.3.3 E-government in Asia 22 means to revitalize lagging economic and social sectors. 1.3.4 E-government in Europe 29 The overall conclusion that emerges from the 2012 Survey in 1.3.5 E-government in Oceania 33 today’s recessionary world climate is that while it is important to1.4 Least developed countries 34 continue with service delivery, governments must increasingly1.5 Post-conflict countries 35 begin to rethink in terms of e-government – and e-governance1.6 Conclusion 35 – placing greater emphasis on institutional linkages between and among the tiered government structures in a bid to create synergy for inclusive sustainable development. An important aspect of this approach is to widen the scope of e-government for a transformative role of the government towards cohesive, coordinated, and integrated processes and institutions through which such sustainable development takes place. 9
  21. 21. Chapter One1 World e-government rankings United Nations E-Government Survey 2012 e-agriculture, e-trade and other fields. Accessing these 1.1 Overview of national new technologies for development is being recog- e-government development nized as one of the key sources of economic growth. Of particular importance is the effect of cellular tech- The United Nations Survey 2012 assessment of prog- nologies. Where national governments have taken a ress indicates that e-government is increasingly being lead, rapid mobile technology proliferation has con- viewed among countries in the vanguard as going tributed as much as a one per cent annual increase in beyond service delivery towards a framework for a economic growth over the last few years.1 smart, inclusive and sustainable growth for future gen- Notwithstanding these trends, progress re- erations. In countries that follow that trend, a focus on mains uneven. In the current recessionary climate institutional integration coupled with online citizen some countries have been better able to continue to orientation in public service continues to be dominant. invest in ICT infrastructure and service improve- Both in terms of information and services, the citizen ment. Others are evaluating the marginal utilityE-government is increasingly viewed as ‘an active customer of public of such investment, especially taking into account services’ with borrowed private sector concepts being low user uptake of existing services, and reassess-innovation and applied to improve public sector governance systems. ing service portfolios where demand for onlinedevelopment can A key driver for this approach is the need to services is low. Many countries with low levels of achieve efficiency in government at the same time that infrastructure and human capital remain at lowerposition the public services are being expanded. Advances in technology, levels of e-government development with serioussector as a driver of which allow data sharing and efficient streamlining issues of digital divide. of cross-agency governance systems are forming the In all cases, e-government take a prominent roledemand for ICT back end of integrated portals where citizens fi nd a in shaping development making it more in tune withinfrastructure and myriad of relevant information arranged by theme, people’s needs and driving the whole process based life cycle or other preferred use. The trend towards on their participation.applications in the personalization of services has gained momentumbroader economy. with more countries tailoring substance and presenta- tion in accord with varied preferences. Multichannel service delivery features were found on several portals 1.2 Global leaders at a glance in 2012 through which the government conducted business with citizens. Citizen inclusion is also ex- Building upon the transformative nature of ICT and panding both horizontally and vertically with more maintaining their focus on e-government develop- governments around the world in 2012 accepting and ment, all of the top 20 countries in 2012 were high- promoting the need to inform – and involve – the citi- income developed economies. 2 All have values that zen in the public decision making process. range from 164 to 190 per cent of the world average. E-government innovation and development can Of the 20, 14 are in Northern America and Europe; position the public sector as a driver of demand for 3 in East Asia (Republic of Korea, Singapore and ICT infrastructure and applications in the broader Japan); 2 in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand); economy. The effect will be more pronounced in and 1 in Western Asia (Israel). cases where government programmes constitute a While the Republic of Korea (0.9283) maintains significant proportion of a country’s GDP and where its position as achieving the greatest e-government the regulatory environment is conducive to expansion development, in 2012 it is followed by three European of ICT manufacturing, soft ware and related services. countries, with the Netherlands (0.9125) advancing E-government programmes can be a catalyst in by three and the United Kingdom of Great Britain boosting productivity, thereby speeding up the ben- and Northern Ireland (0.8960) by one to become the efits of newer technologies to the people. In the last 2nd and 3rd leading e-ready governments in the world. few years many countries have employed ICT in areas Denmark (0.8889), the United States of America such as entrepreneurship, innovation, research and (0.8687), France (0.8635) and Sweden (0.8599) fol- development, promoting distance learning, e-health, low close behind among the global leaders.10
  22. 22. Chapter OneUnited Nations E-Government Survey 2012 World e-government rankings 1 The top 20 countries have marginal differ- government-to-government (G2G), government-ences among them in the level of e-government to-citizen, and citizen-to-government (C2G) inter- Table 1.1 World e-govern-development. All have invested, consolidated and actions in the last stage. 3 ment developmentaggregated their e-government development offer- The United Nations Survey 2012 fi nds that mod- leaders 2012ings in the last two years. Israel, Liechtenstein and els of an integrated portal differ across countries E-government Rank Country development indexLuxembourg, among the high-income countries, and regions. While a few countries are progressing 1 Republic of Korea 0.9283joined the group of world leaders in 2012. towards one national integrated portal, others have 2 Netherlands 0.9125 In 2012, the United Nations e-government developed their e-government offerings with a view 3 United Kingdom 0.8960assessment focused on the concept of integrated to more than one portal, with thematic and/or func- 4 Denmark 0.8889services that exploit inter-linkages among different tional services integrated in a manner that fi nds e-in- 5 United States 0.8687public services on a functionally and/or themati- formation separate from e-services or e-participation. 6 France 0.8635cally similar one-stop-shop portal, thereby improv- Though each of these have integrated services 7 Sweden 0.8599ing and facilitating citizen experience, allowing for across various departments on the thematic or func- 8 Norway 0.8593back-office integration across governmental de- tional portal, they nevertheless make less convenient 9 Finland 0.8505partments and strengthening institutional arrange- the user search for government information, services 10 Singapore 0.8474ments. Single sign-on integrated services on portals and participation in one place. The United Nations 11 Canada 0.8430can organizationally transform public service de- E-Government Survey 2012 differentiates these as 12 Australia 0.8390livery at both the front and the back end. They can ‘integrated services’ from a single ‘integrated portal.’ 13 New Zealand 0.8381increase functional productivity in governments by In 2012 no country had a true single-sign-on 14 Liechtenstein 0.8264identifying and improving governance processes integrated portal. The United States, Republic of 15 Switzerland 0.8134and mechanisms across several departments, lead- Korea, Israel, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Bahrain, 16 Israel 0.8100ing to greater efficiency and effectiveness of services Qatar, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand are 17 Germany 0.8079along with needed cost savings. With a focus on among the few that come close to a pure one-stop- 18 Japan 0.8019governance solutions that enhance service delivery shop portal with information, services and partici- 19 Luxembourg 0.8014and streamline public sector efficiency, the United pation services integrated on one site. 20 Estonia 0.7987Nations e-government rankings in 2012 reflect an Most countries from the European Union (EU)assessment of which countries are undertaking follow the approach of separate portals for their in-their e-government development with a view to in- formation, service and participation offerings. Integrated, user-centric public service delivery. several European countries e-government services The 2012 Survey assesses web portals with a focus on the nationally organized one-stop channelview to the provision of e-information, e-services, for the provision of 20 basic e-services essential towhich range from interactive to transactional to net- their citizens while the government-provided in-worked services, e-participation, and features that formation forms a separate portal with informationare the conduit for service flow from government services integrated on it from across all citizen and consequently a reflection of attention Lessons of experience from the assessment into governance processes. Indicators grouped along 2012 indicate that more services have been integratedthe four stages of the model (emerging, enhanced, across sectors and agencies. While this trend is likelytransactional and connected) range from static in- to continue it seems that increasingly complex publicformation such as links to ministries/departments, sector services in the future will be ‘cloud-based’ witharchived information, and regional/local govern- service providers able to address innovation and pro-ment services; to unidirectional government-to- ductivity upgrades without costly investments by thecitizen (G2C) information flows such as online government. Cloud service equips governments withpolicies, laws and regulation, reports, newsletters, greater efficiency by helping them scale up their ser-and downloadable databases, among other things; vices, including storage capacity, as it evolves. Amongto two-way fi nancial and non-fi nancial transac- the main challenges for large-scale adoption of cloud-tional services and advanced technical features based government services are the integrity of service,such as mobile apps; and to integrated and partici- data security and privacy, and regulatory environmentpatory services characterized by an integration of in most countries around the world, which will need 11